|Style & Handling|
|+ Affordable||- Low resolution screen|
|+ MicroSD card slot||- Iffy camera|
|+ Reasonable battery||- Basic specs|
Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime is a no frills phone, but it has all the basics, plus 4G and an attractive price, making it a good entry-level option.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime isn’t the most exciting phone you’ll ever find, but with an entry-level price it doesn’t need to be and it’s as heavy on features as you’d expect from a Samsung phone.
But the budget market is getting crowded and even with a big name behind it the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime will have its work cut out to get noticed. So is it worthy of your attention or should you look elsewhere for your affordable smartphone needs?
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime has none of the metal and glass luxury the company has been rolling out for its recent flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S6, but it still looks distinctly Samsung, with a fairly thin 8.8mm thick plastic build, curved corners and a metallic look to the edging.
While it doesn’t look high end it doesn’t look overly cheap either, especially as until recently even Samsung’s flagships were clad in plastic.
It’s quite solidly built too and while it won’t stand out amongst the sea of Samsung’s and other cheap phones, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As while it’s not particularly distinctive it looks as though it could have cost more than it did.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime isn’t a big phone. With just a 4.5-inch screen it’s one of the smaller smartphones around in fact, but despite the small size it’s not particularly sharp, with a resolution of just 800 x 480, for a pixel density of 207 pixels per inch.
That low resolution seems to be one of the biggest compromises Samsung has made to keep the cost down and it really shows, as the display is nowhere near as crisp as it could be, though it’s still perfectly useable.
On a more positive note the compact size does make it incredibly portable and pocket friendly and very easy to operate with one hand, which could appeal to some users.
The specs of the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime are pretty standard for an entry level phone. It has a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and 1GB of RAM, which is enough to run Android Lollipop fairly smoothly, but don’t expect top end performance and if you’re a gamer you can think again if you plan to comfortably run games with high production values on it.
Still, for basic web browsing and app usage the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime is perfectly suitable.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime’s camera performs well in some situations but not so much in others. It has a 5 megapixel snapper on the back, which is a fairly low spec but not unusual in budget phones.
Of course there’s more to go on than just the megapixel count and in practice it performs pleasingly well in brightly lit environments but in darker, more challenging environments it really struggles, delivering out of focus and hard to make out shots, even when using the flash.
The 2 megapixel front-facing camera is pretty lacklustre all round, with selfies lacking sharpness and detail even when the lighting is good, but on a more positive note if you want to shoot video the rear camera can capably record in 720p at 30fps.
The Galaxy Core Prime runs Android Lollipop, which although not quite the latest version of Android (we’re up to Marshmallow now), isn’t far behind, so it’s the best you could really have hoped for on a budget phone.
Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, which sits on top of Android Lollipop, has matured to the point where it’s not a bad overlay at all. It’s not quite as clean or stylish as stock Android, but it’s intuitive and easy to use.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime is light on standout features, but it does support 4G, which is far from guaranteed in a low end phone. So pair it with a 4G contract and you can enjoy speedy mobile data all over the UK.
There’s a 2000 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime. That’s pretty small but then this is a pretty small phone and it’s good enough to keep it going for 13 hours of talk time or 60 hours of music playback.
Those aren’t amazing stats but they’re enough for it to comfortably last a day, putting the battery life at slightly above average.
There’s just 8GB of built in storage but there’s plenty of room for expansion thanks to a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 64GB.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.0 and even NFC, so you should be able to make use of Android Pay when it arrives.
The Samsung Galaxy Core Prime is cheap at around £115 SIM free and it’s similarly affordable on contract. Those low prices are one of the main reasons to consider it, as it undercuts even many other budget phones.
With reasonable battery life, 4G and a microSD card slot it gets the basics right too and while its specs aren’t anything to write home about they’re good enough for apps and web browsing.
The camera is a mixed bag, so photography fans might want to look elsewhere and the screen could be a whole lot better, but you’re always going to have to make sacrifices at this price and on the whole the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime strikes a pretty good balance between price and performance.